A MAJOR retailer, which had announced it was pulling out of an East Lancashire shopping centre, will now be staying open.

WH Smith was due to close its store in Accrington in March following a failure to negotiate rents with the Arndale Centre.

Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said a deal had been struck after a renegotiation of rent prices.

He said: “I am grateful they have done that, and it is very good news.”

Opposition leader Coun Peter Britcliffe said the U-turn was a great boost for the town. He said: “It is good to know that the owners of the Arndale have been prepared to compromise and do a deal with WH Smith. A major company like WH Smith is a company that simply cannot be lost. It is not just WH Smith that trades there, and it is important because people who spend tmoney at WH Smith go on to spend around the town.”

A spokesman for WH Smith said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to serve the community in Accrington and to support the retail environment in the town.”

The decision comes as bosses announce a Heritage Museum could be opened at the shopping centre.